Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Dragonmead Crown Jewels India Pale Ale - Dragonmead Microbrewery

Not Rated.
Dragonmead Crown Jewels India Pale AleDragonmead Crown Jewels India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

81 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 141
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dragonmead Microbrewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 01-17-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 81 | Hads: 141
Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer first on tap at the brewery. A few too many of the 36 beers on tap were had to be able to have reviewed it that time. Fortunately while in Michigan I found a bottle at Bello Vino Market in Ann Arbor Michigan. It has been in my fridge for some time now I am finally getting to it.

Appearance: Pours burnt Orange brown with a tan head that fades to partial cap and a collar around my snifter glass. There a specs of lace here and there.

Smell: Caramel malt. Roasted toffee and grain with buttery diacetyl touch and a controlled earthy hop presence.

Taste: It is soft in the mouth with a sweet brown sugar and a toasted caramelized malt attribute with a straight forward but mild hop bitterness that leaves the cheeks tingling every so slightly.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium body beer. Moderate carbonation, moderate bitterness moderate all the way around.

Drinkability: This is a very easy drinking tasty simple sweet beer. It is not incredibly hoppy but it is pleasant. It leans to the sweet side but it is not incredibly sweet either. All around a nice drinkable brew. Good.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,125 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle slightly hazy and about the color of dark apple cider. Small off-white head which quickly faded and left just a touch of lacing.

Aroma is sweet like bananas and JuicyFruit gum.

The taste is full, rich and balanced. The sweetness is nice with the citrus and spiciness from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some oily slickness to it. Carbonation is light.

This is one nice IPA. Very drinkable and enjoyable. I'll have to make more trips up to Detroit for sure. (500 characters)

Photo of TheBierBand
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My third bier at Dragonmead. Arrived in a pint glass with a foamy 3/4" head... perfect pour!... It sat over the top of a deep amber colored bier.

The aroma was of hops and banana and grapefruit.

The taste.... very nice!.... good hoppy bite to finish off a citrusy yet creamy taste. Very bold and spicy too.

Mouthfeel was very good.... nice thickness for the style and carbonation was spot on.

Drinkability was excellent... If you're a hop head.... try this.... it's not overpowering, but you'll still sit up and take notice! (536 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a nice tarnished-copper color. Huge bubbly head! About four inches worth. Off-white head eventually settles and leaves a lot of lace blanketing the glass.

S: Strange combination of caramel malt and musty, dirty hops. Some citrus and wet dirt aromas as well.

T: Caramel malt and bitter, citrus hops dominate. Decent balance between sweet, spicy and bitter.

M: Creamy and prickly. Spicy hops play on the tongue long after the mouthfull is swallowed.

D: Drinkability is good, but it loses points because of the strange aromas with this. The aroma reminds me of some of the "off" bottles of XX Bitter I've had. Would do in a pinch, but definitely not my first choice. (741 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick caramel colored. Bad pour results in no head but you get the feeling this beer screams drink me.

A caramel malt backbone with grapefruit, lemon, tangerine zest, and other citrus notes. A bit floral as well.

Not the biggest most complex IPA but a very nicely balanced one and hell it is an English style. Citrus hops covered in caramel, or just plain candied, sweetness is a bit cloying. Could have used more carbonation as well to help round things out. A flat keg? (478 characters)

Photo of xav33
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dragonmead Crown Jewels India Pale Ale
12 oz bottle
Recent brewing, plundered 03/07
Moderate pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a slightly hazy amber brown with a moderate frothy somewhat lasting head.

Smelt of strong grapefruit, dried fruit, sweet barley sugar, moderate pine and sweat.

Taste was upfront moderate to strong roasted barley and pine and grapefruit with sweet dried fruit tones followed by a moderate to strong bitter sweaty and moderate fruity sweetness on an average length finish.

Palate was medium bodied, creamy, velvety, caressing and soft, lively carbonated and moderately astringent.

Overall, an IPA that feels like an american strong ale or a weak barleywine. Flavors are very nice though. Softest palate on a beer that I've seen yet. (771 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 3-10-07

Pours a reddish brown with an intense amount of floaters. Extremely thin head lingers.

Smell is very bready with an almost sour quality.

Taste isn't bad, a noticeable sweetness followed by a fair amount of floral hop flavor. The bitterness blends very well with the flavor.

Mouthfeel is decent, a little thicker like an IPA should be.

Drinkability is decent, a little too sweet.

Overall a decent beer. Nowhere near worth the $3.39 I paid for the bottle. You can do a lot better for the style. (529 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium bubbly head with minimal retention. Aroma of bitter hops with some citrus characteristic is dominating. Taste is a well balance mix between some caramel malt and some citrusy and bitter hops. There might have been some English hops in there since the bitterness was more dry then usual. I thought this was relatively well done and slightly different then most IPA out there. (444 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Northertimber for this one!

Pours dark autumn colors into my La Fin Du Monde glass. Head is a solid half inch but sadly leaves no lacing as I taste.

Nose is rich malt, like sugary berries coupled with orange from the hops. Pretty nice, but not in the realm of good IPA's here in the US. This is closer to a barleywine but not strong or weak enough in the hops to be of either the English or American variety.

Taste is nice too. I get lots of caramel, orange and maybe a bit of lime and toffee. It's nice but I'll never think of this when I thirst for an IPA.

Mouth is lush like the floor floor of a jungle. Sadly drinkability suffers as this is NOT on par with American IPA's even though I love the way it tastes. (738 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle thanks to tangfoot.

Pours a murky wood-stain brown. Thick head that holds up well. Lace just coats the inside of the glass in thick layers. Nose is a bit like wet paper. Not carboard but wet newspaper.

Flavor is heavy on the malts--particularly caramel. Hops would rise wuickly to provide balance before dissipitating and not leaving much in a balance that sustains throughout. Medium body and maybe a bit sticky even. Decent enough for the style but there is something missing to make this a more noteable beer. (533 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$2.69 for a single seemed a little pricey

A - Murky copper, amber, brown with a thin tan head.

S - Caramel, buttery diacetyl and a very faint spicy hop.

T - Biscuit, sugary caramel, buttery, the slightest touch of floral hops. The hops are hard to pick out.

M - Thin to medium and a little watery.

D - Don't think I would give this one another try. (363 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazed caramely bronze appearance, huge head, a boisterous amber bubbling, this.

Aroma: zesty, piney, sweet, prickly, citric, laced with toffee tones. An intriquing mix, like a blend of English and American styles.

Taste: zippy, brisk, blistering a bit with hoppiness, again more of a caramelized sweetness mixing with the citric, piney hops. Here comes apple, along comes a hint of whiskey, then watermelon...I know, I'm strange...

Much yeast at play here, and a hankering helping of the malt. Hops aren't king, so much as merely a key player in this interesting mess. Finish is medium, and a blend again, of some fruit, with malt, body is medium, texture is elusive...but the flavor and the experience is memorable. I do appreciate this, and I'd be a big supporter if it were my local. It isn't, so I will return to my locals, and nod in it's direction, thanking it for the ride.

much thanks to trbeer for the bottle! (930 characters)

Photo of JollyRodger
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice change of pace for me, most IPA's made in amercia are just that Americian (aka C hops). Pours rich amber in color with minamal amount of head. Aroma of earthy English hops fuggle/northdown maybe, didnt smell or taste like EKG too me. Medium to full body. Very drinkable everything is balanced well malt,hop aroma/flavor, and bitterness. This beer is priced alittle high for a 4 pack @ $10 (404 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scorched orange body has a slight haze. Topped by a fat cushion of light khaki brown head. Good lacing. Nose is rich with buttery diacetyl, sugar cookie malt, and flowery bitter hops. The buttery character kind of dominates though. Tingly, toasted hop bitterness up front. Turns floral with the big addition of sugary butter cookie malts. Mango, pear, and citrus show up as well, before the soapy, toasted hop bitter finish. Maltier than I expected and definitely more of an English IPA. Medium-body with a creamy feel. Not bad. (528 characters)

Photo of jdoolin
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to sopor for the sample!

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Dark copper, with a 3 finger, frothy, fluffy tan head that dissipated very slowly. Very nice lacing.

Aroma: Ahh.. smells like an English IPA. Very nice malt aroma and floral hop.

Taste: The first few sips were utterly delightful. Bready malts, caramel, toast. Assertive hop bitterness, but a subdued hop flavor. The bitterness lingered, however. After the first few sips, I found it difficult to taste the wonderful malts from before. Smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: If the whole beer tasted like the first few sips, this would have gotten a much higher rating. But the bitterness just sort of took over and dominated. (747 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very clear copper body roofed by a medium sized, spongy soft, off-tanned foamy top that keeps for a few minutes before leveling off to a good skim and collar. Big curtains of lace stick in foamy ledges.

Malt sided aroma with toffee sweetness topped with a fresh leafy hoppyness thats quite unique with a nice herbal oil quality. Slight citric, oranged edge to it too.

Taste is mild yet broad with a sturdy hop flavor of freshly dried hop cones and oilyness mixing with a biscuity caramel backing and a buttery soft sugaryness that grows as it warms. The hops tend to slide to the middle then the sides as the maltier tones take over the remaining palate. Toffee and butter extends its arms from there. Some orange oils seep and soak in and out as does a flighty herbal/floralness. A bit warming in the trailing half as the body is fairly solid from the malt base.

Feel is interestingly complex and well crafted within the flavors as its quite smooth with the malt foundations and yet textured in a liquified, fluffy cotton candy hopified leafyness. Remarkably bold and fairly big with a belly filling silky smooth breadyness and throaty warming.

A solid EIPA. About what an actual Pale would taste like after the long trek, just like back in the day of using the elephant. Or so I imagine. Perhaps a taste of history with this one.

Thanks to my canoeing/camping/ beer lovin' BA, closer to Hell than Paradise, trbeer. (1,431 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is probably the least IPA-ish IPA I've tried since my first attempt at homebrewing. It pours to a very dark color and lacks enough hops to even make it an English IPA. Weird.

The beer pours to a nutty brownish amber color. Still fairly clear and supporting a thin white head that recedes to nothing. If I was handed this in a blind tasting, at no point would I venture to guess this beer is an IPA.

The aroma is not exactly pleasant either. Has that "homebrew flavor" to it, in both the nose and the taste. Like malt extract maybe. Smells a bit buttery with very little hops. Oh... silly English people. How something like this could have evolved into the beautiful American IPA boggles my mind, but I'm glad it happened. Because if this is what I thought an IPA was supposed to be, I'd probably never want to try another.

It doesn't make too terrible of an amber ale, or an irish red or something. Either way, it's not getting past mediocre, if that. I have one or two more Dragonmead beers sitting in my DBF awaiting judgement, but so far I have not been pleased with this brewery. Oh well. (1,107 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper with light ruby like hues on the edges. Half an inch of off-white head leaves moderate lacing behind. Malts come through in the aroma a lot stronger than the hops...which is different for an IPA. Bready malts, sweet caramel, some light floral scents as well. The taste is also stronger on malts than expected. Doughy malt, caramel, brown sugar, and finally floral hops come out. Different taste compared to what I know as an IPA but good. Creamy, full bodied brew with a slightly dry finish that also has a bit of an alcohol burn on swallowing. (569 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely pour...deep copper with a nice white head on top of it. Smell is maltier than I would expect for an IPA...hops are also present, but are not the centre of attention.

Taste starts out with hops, but then quickly goes into a nice soft orange effect. Sweet malts are all over the place on this one, and seem to balance quite well with the subdued hop flavour. Not as aggressive as most IPAs, I liked the effect.

The mouth on this is full, carbonated, creamy with hop bitters in the right places. Enjoyable. Drinkability on this is also good, and for me, better than many IPAs because it isn't out to utterly dominate your mouth. (639 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Grapefruit orange colour.Good head, lots of lace. Hoppy aroma Medium body, creamy. Appropriate aggressive carbonation. Fruity grapefruit taste. Strongly malted, not that bitter. Nicely drinkable IPA.ABout a year later bottled and a sweetish IPA. (268 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky dark brown, with some red highlights around the edges. There's a solid one finger head, that fades slowly to a nice cap, leaving behind a thick webbing of lace. This is probably the darkest IPA I've ever seen.

Smell; It's little subdued caompared to what I'm used to in an IPA, but still pleasant. Mostly it's piney hops, with a little bit of a floral and tropical fruit profile. A nice maltiness rounds out the nese nicely.

Taste; up front it's pine tree and floral hops, with just a touch of citrus thrown in. There's a spiced quality that I did not pick up in the aroma, with a bit of cinnamon and something else I can't quite place, and some bicuity malts. Those tropical fruits come out in the finish, leaving a bit of a sweet finish. I didn't get any of the diacetyl flavors that other reviewers have experienced, but it is light on the hops as compared to what most people would expect from an IPA. Despite that, I thought this was a very tasty and very easy to drink English style IPA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and on the creamy side. (1,070 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky reddish brown color with some copper highlights. A bit of a tan head emerges and fades. Not too much lacing.

Smells strong on the diacetyl with earthy notes in there as well. Some toffee and bready notes in there as well.

Taste was sweeter than almost any IPA I have tried. Lots of brown sugar sweetness and bready maltiness. A good amount of diacetyl throughout. Hops lurk in the background. I notice them but they never really come out. They seem to add complexity, some earthy/floral notes, and help the beer go down nicely.

Maybe a bit too sweet and a bit too much diacetyl. Still, this was alright for what it was. (637 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured hyper clear amber color with some red highlights and smallish tan head. Minor shet of lace on the glass.
Aroma was some buttery diacetyl, some caramel and a whiff of spiced hop. Little mellow for an IPA.
Flavor has some bready/biscuit malt notes along with just a hint of caramel. Sweet to some extent with no really hop bite at all.
Mouthfeel was sweet and more sweet. No balance whatsoever with any hops.
Drinkability was OK but this is no where near and IPA. Sort of amber if anything. But disappointing when expecting an IPA but a semi-tasty brew nonetheless. (575 characters)

Photo of HellsBELLS24
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad IPA.

Looks very red in nature when its poured, has a light hoppy smell to it. Was not as hoppy as you would like an IPA to be and it was a little on the sweeter side for a nice IPA. I would recommend trying it if you can because it is not a bad beer. However there are many other IPA's out there that are more like classic IPA's. This one just does not have the hoppy touch that it needs for me. (409 characters)

Photo of SupaCelt
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer displayed a dark tan colour. It seemed to have a garnet cast to it. A fluffy beige head rose up off the pour and it held quite well throughout the tasting. Foamy chunks of lace stuck in a few scattered spots as well. The nose was mostly malt driven. Some chalky accents were mixed in with a weak hop aroma that smelled mostly woodsy. It reminded me of roots and dirt in a way. A spicy or vaguely minty impression also came to mind although this was purely subjective and could be considered reaching. Malt character was by far the dominant layer of scent. Overall this did not make me imagine an IPA when I smelled it. Too much time basking in American IPA styles I suppose. The taste was also malt intensive. The darker than typical colour foreshadowed this finding. There was a somewhat fruity sourness that followed the rich malt onset. The finish was dry and bitter, but this beer still did not feel the way it should have. I think some sort of citrus bite is what I was looking for here, but alas this English style was a bit lackluster. It is, however, most likely a good representation of the style. The mouthfeel was fluffy and light to mid level in body. The drinkability was good, although I personally see no reason to drink this. The flavours are pleasant but they seem less than interesting. Humdrum if you will. The price of this beer is also questionable as I see no justification for it to retail at nearly three bucks. No more. (1,454 characters)

Dragonmead Crown Jewels India Pale Ale from Dragonmead Microbrewery
83 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.